Nuria Carrasco

ESP (1962).


KALAS, 2014
Color magazine in rustic binding, 112 pages
33 x 25 cm

KALAS is a fake of Caras, the number one lifestyle and society magazine associated with luxury, elegance, and sophistication. The magazine reports on Colombian high society, international aristocracy, and the lives of the rich and powerful. Kala means face in Palenquero, so that her magazine is a liberal translation of Caras into this creole tongue. Palenquero—a mixture of Portuguese, Spanish, and African languages—is spoken in San Basilio de Palenque, a village that represents survival as the direct heir of one of the bastions of escaped slaves that peppered the Caribbean coast during the colonial age.

Nuria Carrasco’s project reproduces the style, format, and layout of the magazine, but replaces the original characters with the afro-descendant population of Cartagena de Indias. This same concept was employed in her previous work ¡AHLAN!, a record of her stay in refugee camps in Western Sahara. By copying the layout of the ¡HOLA! magazine, the Spanish equivalent of Caras, her magazine shed light on the total plunder that the Saharaui people have been subjected to over the last thirty-five years. She maintains clear congruence with her previous work, all of which is characterized by an intense interest in inquiring about everyday body-language.

Carrasco is a multidisciplinary artist that employs elements of everyday life and banal acts that point to the meaning of our routines and the importance we grant to frivolities.